Palmer, James Hester, CSM

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Last Rank
Command Sergeant Major
Last Service Branch
Signal Corps
Last Primary MOS
00Z-Command Sergeant Major SC
Last MOS Group
Signal Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1969-1970, 00Z, HHC, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry
Service Years
1950 - 1970

Command Sergeant Major

Seven Service Stripes

Five Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Carl Elliott to remember Palmer, James Hester, CSM.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Meridian, MS
Last Address
Meridian, MS

Casualty Date
Apr 27, 1970
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Pleiku (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Pleasant Springs Presbyterian Church Cemetery - Preston, Mississippi
Wall/Plot Coordinates
11W 060

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 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  2017, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2020, The National Gold Star Family Registry

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
8th Army3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry 4th Infantry Division
  1950-1952, 4641, Korean Support Command, 8th Army
  1969-1970, 00Z, HHC, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry
  1969-1970, 00Z, 4th Infantry Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1953 Korean War
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
 Colleges Attended 
University of Southern MississippiMississippi Gulf Coast Community College
  1948-1949, University of Southern Mississippi
  1948-1949, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

FINAL MISSION OF SMAJ JAMES H. PALMER: On April 27, 1970, a U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D (tail number 66-00870) from the 281st Assault Helicopter Company, 1st Aviation Brigade, was flying a Command & Control mission for the 4th Infantry Division in the An Khe Pass with five passengers on board the aircraft when it was shot down near Pleiku, RVN. The only surviving crew member, SP4 Gary Fields, was the gunner for the mission. SP4 Fields remembers flying up the pass when the aircraft became targeted by .50 caliber fire from both sides. The pilot, CW2 Robert W. Gardner, took the brunt of the fire and slumped over the controls as the aircraft nosed over and out of control.

When SP4 Fields realized that the aircraft was going to crash, he jumped from the ship and fell approximately 200 feet, landing in a rice paddy. SP4 Fields suffered multiple injuries as a result of the fall, and is still disabled later in life. He was the only survivor because he jumped from the helicopter as it crashed in front of the lead ship in a combat aviation assault. The other crewmen included co-pilot WO1 Stanley J. Miller Jr. and crew chief SP5 George W. Tom. The passengers were LTC Gerald E. McKay, MAJ James A. Russ, SMAJ James H. Palmer, CAPT Roy V. Gray, and CAPT Carl N. Fisher Jr. [Taken from and]
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